Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spring is in the air!






Last week the students spent most of their time with the New York to New Orleans Coalition volunteer organizers. We'll post some of those pictures soon but in the meantime we've been working on the building and the garden. Here are some pictures

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Perseverance



We've been working in the garden a lot recently with the Lower Ninth Ward Farming Coalition, Farmer Eric and Pam from the New Orleans Food and Farm Network. Below we see the students hard at work, planting what will soon be some good eats:collards, shallots, radishes and maybe some kale if the transplants survive.


Oh yeah. We also have a hot shower working. Thanks Bill!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Just some thoughts on why

So, I was reading some parts of Carter G. Woodson's The Mis-Education of the Negro, thinking some about what is going on here: the students, the school, me, others. I was struck by this passage written over 70 years ago:

[I consider] the educational system as it has developed both in Europe and America an antiquated process which does not hit the mark even in the case of the needs of the white man himself. If the white man wants to hold on to it, let him do so; but the Negro, so far as he is able, should develop and carry out a program of his own.

The so-called modern education, with all its defects, however, does others so much more good than it does the Negro, because it has been worked out in conformity to the needs of those who have enslaved and oppressed weaker peoples. For example, the philosophy and ethics resulting from our educational system have justified slavery, peonage, segregation, and lynching. The oppressor has the right to exploit, to handicap, and to kill the oppressed. Negroes daily educated in the tenets of such a religion of the strong have accepted the status of the weak as divinely ordained, and during the last three generations of their nominal freedom they have done practically nothing to change it. Their pouting and resolutions indulged in by a few of the race have been of little avail.

No systematic effort toward change has been possible, for, taught the same economics, history, philosophy, literature and religion which have established the present code of morals, the Negro's mind has been brought under the control of his oppressor. The problem of holding the Negro down, therefore, is easily solved. When you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his "proper place" and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary. (excerpted from
http://historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/misedne.html)

I was thinking about John Taylor Gatto, Henry Giroux and Noam Chomsky and all sorts of other people who write important and popularly circulated criticism of the educational complex.

I was just thinking how on point this passage is.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Wow!

I was just looking back at the posts on the blog since it started and am really amazed at how far some things have come along already. As you can see from the pictures below the real emphasis as far as developing the space has been to the outside microfarming initiative as of late. We are ready to plant seeds this week.

As for school, we've been reading Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. We've doing some science and farming curriculum with Eric. We've been working on some basic GED prep for science and math. We've been thinking about how to make stronger arguments and form a thesis.

We've also had some challenges. Some of us, including Turner and Cherish, have been a little sick. Some of us have been having problems getting to school for one reason or another. Some of us have been struggling coming to school prepared.

There is a lot going on but things are coming along.

Over the next couple of weeks we will be working on the school to prison pipeline; reaping what we sow; Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon; being consistent; getting the inside of the building together; and more.

I'm sick so I'm going to bed but I haven't written in awhile. More soon.

Some recent pics